In the past you were either a boarding person or a pet sitting person. It was simply a matter of taste; each option for your pets had its ups and downs. Some, myself included, strongly believe in the benefits of pet sitting over boarding pets in a facility or at the veterinary clinic. Today more and more pet parents are seeking qualified in-home pet care. While boarding facilities still have appeal to some, reviews like the one below are turning people away in droves.
The access to online reviews and past customers changes the pet care game. Pet sitters have always known about the disadvantages of boarding facilities and the challenges they face. We have been hearing the pet parent complaints for years. Now these pet parents can make their message heard even further with the help of Yelp and other social service review sites.
I knew it was going to be a bumpy ride for my dog when we dropped him off this being his first time away from us and totally alone at night but, we drove the extra distance to XYZ dog daycare and boarding facility because they seemed to have such great reviews.
Well for us, the reviews didn’t really make sense. First off we gave him a few toys and a blanket from home so he would feel a bit better but I guess the people working there didn’t think he need them because EVERY time we looked at the web cam his stuff was never in the “suite” with him. And my favorite is when we called twice to ask about it one girl put me on hold to look then got back on the phone, said, ‘oh they are in there and he is sleeping on his bed”. Ummm HELLO you have a freaking web cam in the room I’m looking at him right now thanks for BS.
Anyway we paid for him to be fed at a certain time and and he wasn’t. We paid for him to get a “bedtime story” and “tucked in” and we never saw that happen. And I just cant understand how some people would think its OK to leave these dogs locked up from 7pm to 6am.
All they really care about is up-selling you to a package they will not deliver on. Some advice to them is if your going to lie to my face you may want to unplug the web cam.
Animal RN consulting services are available for Sonoma County residence by appointment. Select consultations are available via phone and web for discerning pet parents outside the area.
Implementing an animal hospice plan does not exclude euthanasia.
I found a huge misconception around animal hospice when I was recently asked to present on animal hospice at a Senior Dog Social. The training facility had blocked out an hour every Saturday in the month to bring in presenters to interact with senior dogs and their people in a slower paced, senior friendly setting. Topics ranged from games and life enrichment with senior dogs to nutrition and support for aging bodies. Prior to my arrival, the guests hadn’t been told anything other than the topic for the week would be animal hospice. They weren’t informed what they would get out of the session, what type of information to expect, nothing other than the doom and gloom topic of animal hospice.
Lets just say that this shifted my presentation game plan. Who wants to go hear about animals dying? Who wants to face their dearest buddy’s mortality? I sure wouldn’t, I would be off finding something more fun and more about living to do with my dog that day. The unfortunate thing is learning about hospice and palliative care is ALL about living and living well. I’m going in, already prepared to really surprise people with beautiful news and information to support their pets as they age.
I started off the session asking the attendees about their thoughts and impressions regarding animal hospice. What I expected to hear were concerns regarding monitoring comfort and measuring pain. I expected questions regarding quality of life, perhaps concerns regarding transference (imposing our ideas onto our pets). I was sure someone would bring up the general question, what is animal hospice. What I heard instead was a clear, matter-of-fact statement from a woman that hospice was not for everyone or every situation. OK. I absolutely agree with that; I asked her to elaborate and explain.
The woman went on to tell the story of her most recently deceased dog. She explained in great detail the caregiving and supportive care she provided once the terminal cancer diagnosis came. She told us how she labored to find the best information, nutrition changes, modifications to the home, pain management and ultimately a well choreographed and honorable euthanasia at home. She went on to talk about the ways the family enriched her dog’s life during the last few months, weeks and days of his life. Careful thought and planning went into when and how to help him cross the rainbow bridge. The woman’s body language changed as she shifted from recounting was was obviously a great memory and a time she was very proud of to an assertion of why animal hospice would not have been a great fit for her dog.
She believed animal hospice meant dying without the aid of euthanasia. She thought her dog would suffer if allowed to live to a natural death, she was very sure of her support for her dog and the lack of suffering. As things got more complicated and more difficult to assure comfort, they made the arrangements for euthanasia and memorializing her dear dog.
It was my great pleasure to clarify and congratulate her on a well managed hospice plan. Animal hospice does not mean that euthanasia will or will not be a part of your family’s plan. Animal hospice is a philosophy around how you care for, live with and love your pets. For Animal RN, we don’t even assert a timeline on it. We believe while we have a prognosis to give us an idea, while we can ascertain with our experience approximately how long a pet may have here with us, we do not know it was the last 6 months until that animal passes. At Animal RN, we don’t focus on the dates and longevity, we focus on today and making sure today is a day without pain, without suffering. Today should be a gift, filled with love and joy.
When supporting animal hospice, Animal RN includes education around natural death (death without chemical or medical assistance). This does not exclude euthanasia for families. As our pets age well, the chance they die on their own increases; Animal RN believes it is our responsibility to be prepared for that possibility, regardless of choice of natural death versus euthanasia.
On October 9, the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC) held its first annual conference in Ft. Worth, Texas. The conference was designed to educate pet care professionals on palliative care and animal hospice best practices while also allowing the attendees a chance to network to those working in the related field. Local in-home pet care provider and animal hospice supporter, Robyn Kesnow RVT, presented a segment on
Kesnow founded Animal RN, the first company to offer in-home animal nursery services (www.animalrn.com). Kesnow reported that the first IAAHPC conference “was an excellent source of information regarding industry trends and processes for supporting hospice while also providing a unique networking opportunity with peers and like-minded professionals from across the country.”
Industry experts presented on the practical tools needed to successfully operate an animal hospice service, including:
· Individualized Hospice Care Planning
· Building your successful Hospice Team
· Understanding Anticipatory Grief
· Managing Pain for Quality of Life
· Dealing with Compassion Fatigue
IAAHPC is dedicated to promoting knowledge about and developing guidelines for comfort-oriented care to companion animals as they approach the end of life. For more information, visit www.IAAHPC.org. The cost of membership is $75 or $40 for seniors and students and is open to all interested in supporting ethical animal hospice care and education.
a fun video for our fans with businesses – how to NOT get fans at the dog park: http://youtu.be/ENaI7EAKWpc
I recently wrote about my first experience receiving a Lost Dog poster by mail, read it here. I was intrigued as I looked up the information on this service. What does lost pet alert services do for the standby dog tags or microchipping? Is it a compliment or will some try to using to replace proper identification?
Some bullet points on LostMyDoggie.com
- Flyers sent by mail to pet businesses ($40-$60)
- Phone alert to neighbors ($75)
- Fees to add on Facebook post to their site ($4.95)
- Fees to add to the front of their website ($5.95)
- Based on the phone alerts, and “seen” reports moved the posted flyers to a different area of town, i.e. 8 miles away.
- Phone alert to neighbors ($85-875)
- Estimate tool estimates the number of homes in a 1 mile radius
- Published success rate of 78% within 48 hours, 68 % after 48 hours
- Does not currently offer mailings/ call or other notification to pet professionals (i.e. shelters, veterinarians etc)